Dear John (Hine Mazda),
When this all started, I was so excited. After a decade in which we bought 3 different Nissans, we were finally looking at making that it happen with a new CX-9. Yes, technically a “certified pre-owned” but with just 5k miles and coming from a Mazda dealer, we thought it might still be a good experience.
On our first date, the salesman (we’ll call him “D”) was dismissive of us and hurried us out the door for another hookup. Later that night, I ended up texting with sales, gathering more detail on the car and talking turkey on the price. I made what I thought was a competitive offer and the next morning was told that my offer was accepted. Sometime later that day though D texts us to say that they in fact did not accept my offer, wanting $900 more but that he’d knock $100 off if I came running in that day. Oh, and someone else had already agreed to pay full price on the car sight unseen so I better rush in before they got it. Classic sales pressure technique but wanting the model and trim they had in stock, I accepted it. This unprofessional sales tactic should have had me walking away at that point but that candy apple red CX-9 with air-conditioned front seats was calling and as our car had been damaged in an accident, we were in need of moving forward with another car.
We move forward to the long grueling process of finance, paperwork, etc. I had preapproval from my credit union but as the bank was closed that day did not have the check from them in hand. We were going through a refinance on our mortgage and I made it abundantly clear to D and the finance guy that I did not want a lot of inquiries on my credit. They said they were going to just check to see if Mazda would match the interest rate I had with the credit union so we could drive the car home that day, which I agreed to again making it clear that I did not want multiple hits on the credit report. We ended up with Mazda financing the loan, but as I went to close on my mortgage I found they ran no less than six different inquiries without telling me. This delayed my refinance process and resulted in me having to pay a discount point in order to keep the rate the same.
The business with the multiple hits of course would not become evident to me until later and when I raised the issue with the finance manager I was told he was going to look into it and get back to me. In this case of course what’s done is done, there is no way to undo the inquiries and the mortgage refinance is done – but a return call and maybe an apology would have been nice. I have yet to hear back from anyone on that issue.
During the finance process we also agreed to add the Cilajet paint sealant. As this was a pre-owned car, there were a couple of paint chips that they agreed to touch up prior to the sealant. We scheduled a date to bring the car back, dropped it off and were given a loaner car. Nice! Later that day we go back to pick up the car. The loaner car department is open until 6 so you can pick up your car until then but the service staff is all gone at 4 PM, so when we went to pick up the car there was nobody in service to talk to about the fact that they used the wrong color touch up paint on the car. What were previously small chips were now dots of the wrong color paint that stuck out like a sore thumb. On top of that, there was a line of black paint that had been dripped onto the right front fender, where previously there had been no problem. They told us to leave the car there for the service person “T” to look at it the next day and to hold onto the loaner. The next day we talk to T, explain the issues and he said it’s being taken care of and will be done that day (Feb. 25). That would be the last time we’d see the car until March 10. The first touch-up guy didn’t come that week and then he was going to come the next week and then “he had to be let go because his work wasn’t up to par” (who tells a customer that?) and then we waited another 5 days until the new touch-up guy came in. We finally came back to pick it up, finding the chips acceptably fixed but a visible line where they touched up the paint spill. Despite pictures we had showing the black paint and that T had seen and acknowledged, the service manager insisted that the line was a fix of an existing paint chip. We were told he’d review something and get back to us. Again, no callback ever occurred from him. D, the original salesman did give us a call but of course did not have all the information on what the problem was nor the ability to do anything about it.
While I still sit around waiting for anyone to call me back, I just received the registration paperwork, showing that the Mazda I just bought from Mazda and financed with Mazda lists a lienholder of…Toyota Motor Credit. I can’t even begin to understand how that even happens, much less how to fix it. I do know that it will be another PITA and that John Hine Mazda will almost certainly say it’s not their fault and not their problem. (Edit: apparently Toyota Motor Credit owns Mazda Finance so this is correct)
To sum up, John Hine is unprofessional in their sales, dishonest in their financing, incompetent in their service department and uncaring in their customer service. Other than the paint stripe that we’ll have to live with forever (certainly not taking the car back to them again), we love the car. But with so many choices, I would never ever go back to John Hine Mazda and would recommend anyone else considering buying a car to take your business elsewhere. Anywhere else.